Caitlin and friends
The Hogar Jose Soria is a state-run temporary home, situated near the centre of La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. The Hogar is home to about 75 children mainly between the ages of 6 and 12. Children are taken to the home for a variety of reasons from abandonment to mistreatment. The majority of the children study at the school within the home, with a few older children studying at a local public school.

The volunteer organisation "Amigos del Hogar" started a creativity program at this home in 1992. The volunteers have their own workshop where they conduct artistic activities for the children in the afternoons. Each child gets to do the activity only once during the week and the activity changes on a weekly basis. The focus of the volunteer program is to provide the emotional support and love that the children desperately lack, and give them the opportunity to express themselves through creative and artistic work thus strengthening their self-esteem.


  • Volunteers design the activities they will do, and keep the workshop in order. Alot of self-initiative, motivation, creativity, and loving care is required on the part of those who wish to volunteer here.
  • As you are in constant contact with the children, it is also important to have a good grasp of Spanish.
  • If you have specific artistic talents, in areas such as music, dance, drama, or ceramics, you are welcome to do projects separate from the general activities of visual arts in the workshop.
  • If you have experience in teaching, psychology or physical therapy it is possible to volunteer in the school or work with the Bolivian professionals in addition to involvement in the creativity program.

happy on a swing As the home is state-run, it is inevitably short of sufficient funds therefore any fundraising for the home is welcome. Volunteers manage any funds that they have raised personally, identifying needs that they would like to fill. This has resulted in some very beneficial projects for the children.

La Paz is a spectacular city situated in a hollow on the high Andean planes. Despite its high altitude of approximately 3600m, the climate is generally good, with the dry, cold season in the months of June to August, and the rainy season from January to March.

Accomodation is easy to find, with a Bolivian family, or in a separate apartment. Depending on the degree of comfort required, prices can range between $50-$150 per month. "Amigos del Hogar" is unable to pay for volunteers’ living expenses. Food is inexpensive therefore a budget of about $100-$150 per month, apart from the rent, is perfectly realistic.

Finally this volunteering opportunity is, more than anything, about human relationships. The children, despite what they have suffered, are wonderfully open, and if you come with an open heart, embracing the work with a selfless attitude, it will be a very valuable, self-developing experience both for you and the children.

If you have skills that you think you could make a valuable contribution to Hogar Jose Soria or other homes where we work, please fill in the volunteer application form and send it to us. We will then be in touch regarding any questions or doubts you may have.